Treadmill with laptop desk

How to Burn 800 Calories and 300 Emails Simultaneously

Three Tips to Start Moving Your Body and Your Mind

How do you feel when you open your email inbox the day after vacation?

Isn’t it amazing how one click can immediately transport you from leisurely, peaceful bliss to swirling chaos, anxiety and feelings of impending doom? Images of last week’s waterfalls are replaced with this week’s reality of to do’s pouring down like rain.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, I’m often tempted to overlook what matters most to me in my personal life. Like exercise.

I start with the best intentions. “I’ll skip my workout today only to catch up on all these vacation emails!” Until today becomes tomorrow becomes a bulging, waistline muffin top. Have you ever been there?

What I discovered from punishing myself emotionally for ignoring myself physically is that it’s possible to simultaneously move your body and your mind. Without compromising your calendar.


By incorporating more movement into your daily work routine.

Before you transform your lunch hour into an hour of workout power, press pause. These three tips will help you easily turn your work desk into your workout success.

Start With An Inflatable Disc: A what? Inflatable vestibular discs (like the one pictured here) mimic the experience of sitting on an inflatable ball without the office embarrassment of actually sitting on an inflatable ball. When you put the smooth side up on your office chair and sit down, you’ll engage your core abdominal muscles to stay upright and balanced. When you put the “nubby” side up on the floor by your desk and stand on it, you’ll be working on improving your balance and strengthening your extremities. When I started using this easy, affordable solution, I experienced a decrease in back pain and an improvement in my posture.

Photo of a blue inflatable disk on a white background

Progress To A Standing Desk: You can inexpensively build your own standing desk by putting a box or a stack of copy paper or books on top of your existing desk. Then simply place your computer on top. Start by standing 15 minutes each day. Then add time in 15 minute increments. According to Healthline, “When compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories. That’s almost 1000 extra calories each week simply from standing at your desk each afternoon.” When I progressed to a standing desk, I experienced an increase level in my energy and an improvement in my mood.

Desk with cardboard box on top to create a standing desk for a laptop computer

Graduate To A Treadmill Desk: Concerned about the cost? Prices start as low as $400, and are accepted as eligible items to use towards your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). Also consider asking your employer to invest in a shared treadmill desk for your office or even a dedicated one for your desk. When I graduated from a standing desk to the treadmill desk pictured here, I experienced increased productivity, increased movement, decreased anxiety, and a diminishing waistline.

Closeup of treadmill controls on a treadmill desk displaying speed, calories, time, and distance

“Walk and work” is now a part of my weekday routine, whether I’m in my traditional office or my home office. And whether I’m about to leave for vacation or just returning from vacation.

As you gradually incorporate movement into your workday, you, too, will discover it’s possible to positively affect your waistline and your company’s bottom line.

Once your mindful movement migrates from setback to success, I invite you to inspire others by sharing your story at Success With Less.

This post first appeared on Medium.

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